WASHINGTON -- A Republican state Senate candidate admitted Wednesday that he deleted his personal Twitter account after retweeting offensive messages about African-Americans, lesbians and minimum wage earners.
New York's Duchess County Comptroller Jim Coughlan suspended his account ahead of any potential criticism, saying that he didn't mean to offend others.
"My intention was not to offend anyone, only to share other people's viewpoints," Coughlan told HuffPost in a phone interview.
Coughlan suggested that his personal account's tweets had been released in an attempt to discredit him ahead of the Republican primary.
"Politics is a dirty business, people think they can get me out of the race by kicking [the tweets] around," he said.
He added, "Everyone knows retweets aren't endorsements," though his personal account didn't include such a disclaimer.
HuffPost obtained screenshots of the retweets before Coughlan deleted the account.
"if u r an adult making min wage, maybe u should reevaluate some of your previous life choices," read one from Jan. 3.
"Oh the stupid. It burns..." read another from Dec. 5, with an attached pic of celebrity Paris Hilton tweeting "RIP Nelson Mandela."
"I wanted to save black youths by killing the #1 killer of black youths until I looked it up," reads one from July.
"Why are lesbians so concerned about abortion? You know strap-ons aren't real, right? @RachelMaddow 2 effin funny," reads another, from February of 2013.
Coughlan has received the backing of the local Conservative and Independence parties.
His campaign's Twitter account also retweets frequently, though it stays away from tweets of a racist and homophobic nature.